You’ve waited months, possibly a year or more, for a decision on your VA benefits claim. When the letter finally arrives, it’s a denial decision or a ratings score that you don’t feel accurately reflects the support you will need for your service-connected disabilities.
It’s time to file a Notice of Disagreement (NOD) letter with your regional VA office, but be careful: there’s a simple mistake that could limit the options you have for appeal or draw your case out unnecessarily.
Keeping it Simple
The NOD letter serves two basic functions:
- It notifies the VA that you, the claimant, disagree with all the decisions made on your case.
- It indicates what type of appeal you are preparing to make.
Of course you will want to begin arguing your case immediately, and it might seem logical that presenting examples will move the appeal process along quicker. In reality, arguing your case in the NOD or listing specific issues will create obstacles for you further down the road.
That’s because it isn’t possible to list every issue that you’re dealing with now (or in the period between when you send the NOD and when you actually make the appeal) in the course of a brief NOD letter.
Any issue that hasn’t been mentioned in the NOD will require new material evidence. This will lengthen your appeal process.
So keep your NOD appeal letter general. Simply say that you disagree with all of the decisions made on your VA benefits decision and ratings score. If you do choose to list specific issues in the initial VA decision, be sure to clearly state that this sampling of items does not represent an exhaustive list and reinforce that you disagree with every decision made on your claim.
Speaking with a Texas VA benefits attorney before filing a NOD may help you avoid this and other pitfalls that could draw out your VA compensation benefits appeal. Know all your options moving forward. Don’t wait. Contact the experienced team at Morgan & Weisbrod today by calling 800-800-6353.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.